* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

It Takes All Sorts

9 June 2003
James can have fun with even the most basic abstract concepts.

It's not often that a blade of grass gets asked out to a party, so naturally she said yes. Admittedly she's young, slim and a tad green and new to the place, so it's only polite. All spruced up she turned up, a tactful thirty five minutes late, full of bottle and armed with an open mind of wine.

Everyone there was so nice, and so different. Most people had come with Train of Thought, in his car. He was always the designated driver, and it was best really - he was awful when a bit pissed. It was bad enough when he was sober: Single minded and a bit aggressive, he would plough through ideas one after the other, leaping from cloud to cloud, and never really ending. Sometimes he'd have an end-point in mind but it tended to slow him down, make him take more corners. He was at his most cutting when given free reign. Nevertheless, he normally got you to the party and home in reasonable shape, so few people complained. Those that did, walked.

It was one of those real parties, a good one. Just the right mix. She'd slotted right in, and had spent enough time meeting each person there to get a good handle, to join in properly. The punch was strong and the music got louder, and the dancers were getting closer together. She found herself with the host of the party on the sofa, giggling like old friends, watching people pairing of around the place:

The couple slow dancing rather inappropriately to the ten-piece uptight staccato groove that had followed the atrocious ballad that had simultaneously begun their lung-sucking and mostly cleared the rest of the room. They rather nicely matched in appearance, but Blade's first impressions of them both could be different. Belief was a rather stunning brunette, and forceful in nature. The self-assuredness oozed from her, and you wouldn't want to get into an argument with her.

He was equally stunning, and his chiselled kind of mountaineer complimented her well in a posed for Heat magazine way. Fact had introduced himself to me while I was fumbling with punch and a full plate of nibbles. One of those rock solid types, that doesn't give a damn what you think, so is honest from the start. Him and Belief had been having a heated argument for most of the evening, when they weren't having a quiet aside with me to cool off. And from the looks of it, the drink and the passion had got to the better of both of them, at least until someone puts Chumbawumba back on again.

And two are sheepishly leaving. Now there's a really interesting couple. The kind that will invite you to their wedding and then spend the rest of their lives complaining but always finding a reason to stick at it. Guilt was a boy that had some past, Blade was sure. Something way back, an event or habit, made him what he is. You kind of wish that he'd lighten up so that he'd at least enjoy the ride he's about to get. But we all know that he'll marry her, because it seems like the easy way out for him.

She sees at least part of all this. Hope is a lovely girl, unusually short, but a lovely girl. She didn't really make much sense to me, but it's obvious what she sees in him. She sees something that she can take care of, and try to nurture. The main thing in the back of her mind is wanting to make sure that he'll call her in the morning. That's why she's got that underwear on, and why he's in for a quite a treat.

The door opens and lights pours into the room and two more walk back in. He casually checks his fly, grins and crashes down on the sofa with us. Blade grins too, because it's hard not to like Contentment. Lie has gone to the table and poured herself a large Malibu and Cherryade, and Blade cottons-on a lot slower than everyone else.

She's a girl who is by definition false and sometimes even evil. It's her too-perfect looks and seemingly gormless expression. She can't handle Contentment (he likes to be called C), because he seems to be untouchable. So, tonight she tried to have one over by sucking him off in the hosts' en-suite. She's realised, above the sickly red of the concoction she's just poured herself that she's not only failed, but reinforced the very thing that he is. You can't get much more contented than that. If she wanted guilt, then she picked the wrong guy. But in this company, you would have thought that was all a bit obvious.

The party had that winding down feel about it, and Train turned up to whiz people home. Everyone was too pissed or tired or too snogging to hold his conversation, so he remained distractedly quiet. Blade wished Field, who had been her shoulder for the evening, and they had a big hug. The co-host, Gust, had been the life and soul of the non-couplers, always making his presence felt.

As she was sitting in the back the people carrier, Blade suddenly had a thought. "Why am I the only non-conceptual being at this party?". Train had a moment of clarity and answered me "Well, every story needs a bit of substance, doesn't it?"


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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